More Efforts to Protect Sea From Pollution

In a bid to preserve the marine environment, China pledges to further work to safely dispose of aging or damaged equipment used during offshore oil and gas exploitation.

The country will increase its collaboration with other countries to look for better solutions to the problem to help contribute to the balanced economic, social and environmental development of the Asia-Pacific region, said Chen Lianzeng, vice-director of the State Oceanography Bureau.

Chen made these remarks recently in Beijing at the opening ceremony of a workshop held by the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).

Jointly sponsored by China and the United States, the workshop is devoted to facilitating better understanding of the assessment and mitigation process for aging or damaged offshore facilities in order to sustain their proper operation, secure the safety of the environment and maintain the efficient use of petroleum resources.

The workshop follows the APEC joint workshop on the decommissioning of offshore oil and gas platforms held in Jakarta in October 1998. Its aim is to work towards implementing the APEC Action Plan on the Sustainability of the Marine Environment.

Along China’s 18,000-km coastline, 25 offshore oil and gas fields have been opened since 1980s.

The central government has revised and promulgated the State Marine Environment Protection Law and a set of further regulations on environmental protection during oil exploitation.

The country has had all its offshore oil platforms equipped with oil waste and spillage treatment facilities, and has also taken other measures to prevent drilling wells and ships polluting the sea.

However, China is aware that much more can be done to protect the marine environment.

China, along with the United States and many other APEC members, believes the priority at present is to decide on the best way to carry out assessment and maintenance work at sea.

Therefore, the workshop is addressing a broad spectrum of engineering and regulatory issues relating to assessing and extending the useful life of offshore oil and gas facilities.

About 150 government, private sector or academic institution representatives from nine countries, including China, the United States, Australia, Mexico and Malaysia, are attending the workshop.

(China Daily 10/10/2000)

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